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Inclusive Land rights for Persons with Disabilities

There is a direct relationship between strengthening women’s land rights, social and economic empowerment, and poverty reduction. Long term investments in agriculture require secure land rights. People need to perceive their rights to be secure.

Land rights, categories and concepts

Land rights are legal rights to own and use land. 

Categories of land rights: 

  • Use rights(Land use- Governance and decisions making)
  • Control or decision-making rights(Land access)
  • Alienation
  • Ownership rights(Land ownership- registration)

The concepts closely related to land rights are: Land governance, Land administration, Land tenure.

Land governance: These are rules, processes and structures for decision making. The way decisions are implemented and enforced.

Land administration: Documentation and registration of land rights also known as land registry

Land tenure: These are relations with respect to land; Rules of tenure define allocation of property rights


There are four major land tenures system in Uganda, and these include:

a) Customary land tenure 

• This is a tenure system where land ownership rights are passed to individuals through lineages (father to sons/daughters or relatives). 

• For land (settlement, hunting, farming, grazing, etc) and transaction by no linage member, permission from elders(custodian) and general community members must be sought and agreed prior to any payment is made.

• This land tenure is the dominant tenure in Acholi sub region.

b) Free hold tenure

• Individuals have absolute rights over the land. The land is got through purchase.

• Within his/her discretion, individual may at any one point decides to dispose of the land without seeking opinion or consultation from anyone.

• This land tenure is much applicable in urban areas (trading centres, towns, municipalities and cities).

c) Leased Hold tenure

• Land owned by Government and can be leased to individual who expressed interest to use it for a given period of time. His/her request shall be scrutinized, and request granted or denied based on set criteria.

d) Milo land tenure

• This is mostly applicable in Central Buganda region of Uganda. The Kabaka (the Buganda king) is the custodian of the land and his subject only have access and user rights.

NB: The Uganda constitution of 1995 did not give rights to foreigners (Non-nationals) to purchase land (free hold) but rather gave access and user rights upon application.

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